Politics

Political news from around NC and beyond.

Merigrace Ramsey / WRAL

Republican Senator Thom Tillis and Democratic challenger Cal Cunningham sparred over the pandemic, systemic racism and each other’s records Monday night during a socially distanced debate.

Thom Tillis Cal Cunningham U.S. Senate
Campaign Photos

Follow live updates of the first televised debate between North Carolina Republican Sen. Thom Tillis and Democratic challenger Cal Cunningham.

Watch live here starting at 7 p.m.

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Cal Cunningham hasn’t campaigned in person since the first stay-at-home order was issued in March.

Thom Tillis Cal Cunningham U.S. Senate
Campaign Photos

North Carolina Republican Sen. Thom Tillis and Democratic challenger Cal Cunningham are meeting for their first televised debate in a campaign whose outcome could determine which party controls the Senate.

This week: A Washington Post story alleged Postmaster General Louis DeJoy cajoled GOP campaign donations from employees of the logistics business he ran in Greensboro. 

Rob Schofield of NC Policy Watch and Becki Gray of the John Locke Foundation consider whether the latest controversy surrounding DeJoy will affect Republican candidates in North Carolina this year.

Also, census watchers are sounding the alarm to Congress about a potential undercount in the state, and the major party candidates for U.S. Senate have their first debate next week. 


With Election Day less than two months away, candidates are in full force on the campaign trail trying to woo voters. But what message are they crafting to appeal to their constituents? When it comes to talking about race, politicians have used coded language to conjure racist stereotypes for decades. The technique is called “dog whistle politics.” 

Guest host Charlie Shelton-Ormond talks about the influence of dog-whistle politics with Ian Haney Lopez, the Chief Justice Earl Warren professor of public law at the University of California-Berkeley. 

Charlie also shares a statement from WUNC about Black lives and racial equity with colleagues Kamaya Truitt and Naomi Prioleau.


Boxes of absentee ballot requests sit at the Durham County Board of Elections office in Durham, N.C. on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020.
Ben McKeown / For WUNC

Nearly 10,000 North Carolinians had their mail-in ballots accepted in the first week of voting, according to data released Friday by the State Board of Elections.

Absentee ballots for the upcoming November election have already been mailed out to voters in North Carolina, and voters in some two dozen additional states can expect theirs in the coming few weeks. Because of the coronavirus pandemic a record number of Americans are expected to cast their ballots by mail this year.

Donald Trump, Winston-Salem, Rally
Evan Vucci / AP

A crowed political rally hosted by President Donald Trump put people’s health at risk, but was legal under state pandemic rules that exempt certain gatherings where people exercise free speech, a spokeswoman for North Carolina's governor said Wednesday.

Natalie Dudas-Thomas / WUNC

WUNC has all the coverage you need this election season. Check out our 2020 Voter Guide for information on absentee ballots and more. And be sure to check out our Races To Watch stories for everything you need to know about candidates in statewide and legislative elections. Subscribe to WUNC's Politics Podcast, and follow reporters Rusty Jacobs and Jeff Tiberii on Twitter.

The North Carolina General Assembly recently enacted legislation to ease absentee-by-mail voting this year and to make polls safer for in-person voting during the coronavirus pandemic.

As COVID-19 cases climb at many colleges and universities in North Carolina, schools are maintaining dashboards to track and present different data and terminology. But are the dashboards enough of a resource to keep students and faculty informed about the virus on their campus?

On this edition of the Politics Podcast, we're featuring an episode from Tested, a podcast at WUNC that takes a hard look at how North Carolina and its neighbors are facing the day's challenges.

Tested host Dave DeWitt talks with WUNC education reporter Liz Schlemmer about the role of dashboards in tracking COVID-19 cases at colleges and universities.
 


Updated at 2:06 p.m. ET

House Democrats say they are investigating Postmaster General Louis DeJoy over allegations reported by The Washington Post that he asked employees to donate to certain political candidates and then reimbursed them through bonuses.

A photo split between a torso-up shot of candidate Madison Cawthorn and candidate Moe Davis, both holding microphones
Cory Vaillancourt

Republican Madison Cawthorn and Democrat Moe Davis are in a close race for North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District seat, which represents most of western North Carolina. The two faced off in a two-day forum this weekend addressing issues ranging from police reform to the numerous unsolved cases of missing and murdered indigenous women. 

This week: State legislators gaveled in for a brief two-day session and don't intend to return until next year — that is, until after the elections are over. Their singular charge was to allocate North Carolina's remaining pandemic relief funds from the federal CARES Act.

Becki Gray of the John Locke Foundation and Rob Schofield of NC Policy Watch discuss the good – and the bad – in the latest relief package. And they react to President Trump's visit to Wilmington, where he tacitly encouraged people to vote twice.
 


The front of the North Carolina Legislature building with an American flag and a North Carolina flag out front with two trees on either side
Jayron32

The North Carolina legislature passed the Coronavirus Relief Act 3.0 Thursday, which allocates the nearly $1 billion left of federal CARES Act money. 

Mike Pence coronavirus Florida
Wilfredo Lee / AP

Vice President Mike Pence will be in Raleigh on Thursday to promote an anti-abortion agenda, GOP candidates and to make campaign stops for President Donald Trump.

Evan Vucci / AP Photo

As thunderstorms threatened, President Donald Trump sped through a V-J Day speech on Wednesday, trumpeting American strength and managing to squeeze in a swipe at Democratic rival Joe Biden.

Voters fill out their ballots at the Hamilton County Board of Elections as early voting begins statewide, Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2016, in Cincinnati.
John Minchillo / ASSOCIATED PRESS

The North Carolina State Board of Elections voted along party lines Monday to back plans for early voting on Sundays in some counties.

Ron Doke / Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cobalt220/4396088257

During its search for a new postmaster general, the U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors was presented with 53 candidates screened by an outside company. Not on the list: Louis LeJoy, who ultimately got the job.

Alex Brandon / AP

President Donald Trump will visit Wilmington on Wednesday to declare it a World War II “Heritage City.”

News outlets report that the visit is timed to coincide with the 75th anniversary of the end of the war.

Tiffany Tertipes / Unsplash / creative commons

North Carolina voters continue to request absentee-by-mail ballots this year at a record pace. Requests are now 15 times ahead of where the number was at the same time four years ago, during the last presidential election cycle. They're expected to surpass 500,000 this weekend.

Grant Baldwin / Flickr / CC

Last night marked the close of the most unusual political conventions in American history. Both the Republican and Democratic national conventions looked radically different this year due to COVID-19 restrictions. For the Democrats, roll call was a virtual parade of state and territory landmarks, including Rhode Island’s trademark calamari. 

N.C. Governor Roy Cooper and N.C. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen.
N.C. Department of Public Safety

A proposed budget plan issued this week by Governor Roy Cooper could set up some battle lines for this fall's General Election.

Cooper has issued a budgetary wish list as lawmakers return to Raleigh next week. The legislative session was scheduled so lawmakers could address the allocation of nearly $1 billion in COVID-19 federal relief funds.

President Donald Trump speaks on stage during the first day of the Republican National Committee convention, Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Charlotte.
Evan Vucci / AP

President Trump is accepting the Republican nomination for president on Thursday. NPR reporters are providing analysis of his remarks live.

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Courtesy Juan Pleitez

21-year-old Juan Pleitez thought he'd be making the drive from Raleigh to Charlotte to cast his vote as a first-time delegate to the Republican National Convention. Instead, he watched from home this week while a much smaller group officially renominated President Trump.

Follow live updates and analysis of Day 4 of the Republican National Convention. President Trump caps off the week with his address.

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#NC11: Cawthorn Mingles With Far-Right Fringe

Aug 27, 2020

Conservative congressional candidate Madison Cawthorn, scheduled to speak Wednesday at the GOP national convention, traveled to Texas last month to visit a private border wall and echoed discredited child sex trafficking claims promoted by the extremist conspiracy theory movement.

Follow live updates and analysis of Day 3 of the Republican National Convention. Vice President Pence headlines the night.

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Gov. Roy Cooper is expected to share an update on COVID-19 and share his budget proposal.

Watch live, here, starting at 3 p.m.:

State Rep. David Lewis (R-Harnett) talks with reporters after a session of the Joint Legislative Elections Oversight Committee on Monday, Nov. 26, 2018.
Rusty Jacobs / WUNC

Updated at 3:24 p.m.

A federal judge on Wednesday accepted the guilty plea of a longtime North Carolina state lawmaker who acknowledged conducting a scheme to funnel campaign dollars to his ailing farm.

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